Man defends YouTube videos showing him mimic a mass shooter in hotel room as an "art project"

YouTube videos appear to show mass shooting dry run
YouTube videos appear to show mass shooting d... 03:51

A California man is due in court later today in connection with disturbing videos that appear to show him pointing guns out a hotel window. Police arrested Steven Homoki after they were tipped off about several YouTube videos that show a man holding several guns and aiming at targets in downtown San Diego.

Homoki was arrested on three felony weapons charges. Formal charges will be announced this afternoon when he appears in court, reports correspondent Janet Shamlian.

The videos are chilling and graphic. In them, police say a man they identify as the 30-year-old Homoki looks like he's practicing for a mass shooting – first gathering ammunition off the floor, then loading a handgun and pointing it out the window as people can be seen on the sidewalk below. 

The hotel room, at the Sofia in downtown San Diego, is just steps from a federal courthouse. 

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Police say videos taken by Steven Homoki in a hotel room show passers-by in San Diego being targeted. YouTube

Moving from room to room, the man can be heard talking to himself as he picks up several assault weapons. At one point we hear a click as he pulls the trigger of an apparently empty gun, pointing outside the hotel suite.

"Click, boom," he says.

He grabs a bottle of liquor before aiming at the head of a mannequin perched on a couch.

"Boom."

The videos were originally posted in September; police say they were tipped off to the videos last week.  "When we received the tip, within 48 hours, that's when an identification of the subject was made and an arrest was made," said Lieutenant Shawn Takeuchi of the San Diego Police Department

Homoki was arrested Thursday at his home in a San Diego suburb where police seized multiple firearms. He'd posted the videos to YouTube under another name, and wrote under one it was "satire" not to be "taken seriously."

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Steven Homoki speaking in a jailhouse interview. KFMB

Our San Diego affiliate KFMB talked to Homoki in jail this weekend.

"This is kind of like a little miniature art project just for myself," Homoki said, "Just to kind of, kind of get into a mindset. Just wanted to relax. Maybe do something a little bit fun and different."

The videos are eerily reminiscent of  the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas, where a gunman firing from a hotel room killed 59 people and injured hundreds.

"This video is very similar to that," said Takeuchi. "You've got an individual manipulating weapons in a hotel room that overlooks downtown San Diego. So, that is very concerning."

Homoki said violence was never his intent.

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Homoki was arrested on three felony weapons charges. Youtube

"I do not wish to cause harm to anybody," he said. "This is not an act of terrorism at all. I respect everybody's rights equally. This is not something that I would ever try to target anybody."

Still, police credit the tipster with warding off a potential tragedy.

Takeuchi said, "This is a perfect example of a community coming forward and letting law enforcement know what's going on so that we can take immediate action."

Homoki says he never meant to make the videos public on YouTube.

"CBS This Morning " reached out to YouTube's parent company Google about guidelines and restrictions in posting videos like this online, but have not heard back.